Where Do I Begin?

Matriculation is a partnership between the student and Southwestern College. This partnership offers access to services before the first day of class and continues throughout the Southwestern College educational experience.

Now, let’s begin! The following steps may be completed at the Student Services Center in the Cesar E. Chavez Building 1400 on the Chula Vista Campus, or at the Higher Education Centers in National City, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. Every student should follow these steps to matriculation:

# 1: Apply for Admission through Admission and Records

  • High school students in the SUHSD have the option of participating in the Early Admissions Program (EAP)
  • If you were not registered for the previous semester, an admissions application must be submitted. Students may apply online at or bring a #2 pencil to the College and apply in person at our Chula Vista campus or any Higher Education Centers at National City, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. New Students will be given a temporary student ID and former students will use the same card previously issued.
  • If you attended previous colleges or universities and hope to use applicable coursework towards a certificate, an associates degree, or transfer to another university from Southwestern College, an official transcript from every institution must be on file for evaluation.

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# 2: Attend Assessment, Orientation & Advisement 

Computerized and paper-and-pencil are available at the Assessment Center

  • Plan to take assessments at least two days before your orientation and pre-registration sessions, since many courses require certain competency levels for Math, Reading and Writing.
  • You may not need to take these assessments if you completed and passed any Math, Reading and Writing courses at another college, or have either AP or IB credit. Just bring an unofficial copy of your transcripts to the Prerequisite Review Counter at the Assessment Center for review. Pre-requisites for other courses may also be cleared there.
  • Official Transcripts will need to be on file prior to completing a Student Education Plan and to award prior credit for degrees and certificates. Please send transcripts to Southwestern College Admissions & Records Office once the semester begins.

Orientation and advisement provides information about assessment results, pre-requisite requirements, general education, major requirements, college resources, transfer information, and registering for classes. You may sign up for your orientation workshop at the Assessment Center or in the Counseling Center.        

  • Walk-in counter at the Counseling Center offers answers for short questions/advisement for students, and is not intended to replace a counseling session. Schedule counseling appointments to create a Student Education Plan (SEP), transfer, career, and personal counseling issues.

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#3: Apply for Financial Aid, CCPG, FAFSA

The Financial Aid Office helps students who are unable to continue their education because of financial problems. Financial Aid means assistance for eligible students in the form of:

  • California College Promise Grant (CCPG)-covers enrollment fees
  • Federal and State Grants-Grants range from $400 to $4,731
  • Federal Work Study-Work on campus, 15 hrs per week employment
  • Loans-Stafford and emergency loans; Loans range from $150 to $4,500

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# 4: Register for Classes

You may register for classes on or after your assigned registration date, online or visit Admissions & Records to register in person:

  • All registration information and other related materials are sent to your email address, so make sure to have a current email address on file with the Admissions Office to receive your assigned registration appointment.
  • Clear any outstanding fees or holds (if applicable)
  • Meet pre-requisites. Unofficial transcripts or grade notices can be used to clear pre-requisites. Visit the Pre-requisite Review Counter for more information.You must have official transcripts on file once the semester begins in order to complete a Student Education Plan (SEP) during the counseling appointment.

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# 5: Pay Fees

Federal and State Financial Aid are available for qualified students. Apply online at www.finaid.org or visit the Financial Aid Office at any college location for assistance.

You may pay fees online through Web Advisor, in person at the Cashier’s Office located at all campus sites, or by phone. To pay by phone call Student Account at 619.482-6307.   Students may pay fees by credit card, check/money order, or in cash. As of 2009, the enrollment fee is $26 per unit. For other expenses, view Tuition and Fees chart.


  • Fees are due within 5 days after registration. Students MAY BE DROPPED from classes if fees are not paid to make seats available for other students
  • Students registering for classes after the semester starts won’t be dropped but will incur a financial obligation to the college AND a hold will be placed on their records if payment is not received This hold blocks future registration, obtaining transcripts, grades, diplomas, or verification of enrollment until fees are paid.

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# 6: Access College Services

You don’t have to go through this alone. Use the following resources:

  • Counseling Center Schedule an individual counseling appointment after the second week of the semester with a College Counselor to develop a Student Educational Plan (SEP) and a Semester By Semester (SxS) plan.If you have attended colleges or universities elsewhere, Southwestern College must have the official transcripts as soon as possible. You may bring an unofficial transcript for advisement purposes only when meeting with the counselor but in order to complete an SEP, official transcript must be on file. Please have official transcripts sent to Southwestern College Admissions & Records Office once the semester begins.
  • Counseling Center provides Personal Wellness Services to students. If you are experiencing a crisis, please contact us immediately at 421 6700 ext.5242 or 5628
  • Career Center take career assessments, learn about professional and career options. 
  • Transfer Center offers university transfer information and various workshops
  • CTECS and Women’s Resource Center offers support for students enrolled in Career-Tech majors or female students needing support
  • Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS) offers additional academic and counseling support
  • Disabled Support Services (DSS) students with disabilities receive academic and counseling support and academic accommodations based on individual needs.
  • Veteran Services provides assistance to veterans and dependents who may be eligible for various educational benefits.

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#7:  Take a Tour

Take a virtual tour of the college campus, or email our Outreach department at outreach@swccd.edu for campus tours for groups of 15 persons or more. Find your classrooms, the Library, and Academic Success Center (ASC) for tutoring needs.

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#8: Attend

Attend the first day of class and purchase your books early!